Integrity is Integral, Former FBI Director Robert Mueller Says

When it comes to the split-second, life-or-death decisions a member of the national security apparatus faces constantly, what’s important is having a strong moral background

(TNS) -- ANDERSON – Former FBI Director Robert Mueller’s message to Anderson University students studying national and information security was simple.

“For the bureau, one of the most important things is integrity,” Mueller told a group of 15 AU students during a question-and-answer session Wednesday.

Though a person can be taught how to investigate or given tools for stopping terrorism, when it comes to the split-second, life-or-death decisions a member of the national security apparatus faces constantly, what’s important is having a strong moral background, he said.

“(FBI) agents are getting badges and guns to affect people’s lives,” Mueller said. “You need maturity and good judgment.”

Mueller was on campus Wednesday as part of a speakership series for students of the school’s new Security Studies program launched last year with majors in national security studies and informational security. Mueller led the FBI from September 2001 to September 2013.

The program offers students a look at national security policies and technological programs to investigate and thwart those who could pose a threat to the nation.

“Our students recognize the threat of both cyber attacks and terrorist attacks is growing,” said Michael Frank, professor of political science and fellow of the national securities program.

Eighteen students have joined the program in its first year.

The same speakership program has brought other national experts to campus including: Alejandro Mayorkas, deputy secretary of Homeland Security; Chuck Rosenberg, acting administrator for the Drug Enforcement Agency; and Alice Hill, senior director for resiliency on the National Security Council.

It’s having a chance to hear from professionals in the field like Mueller and others that has helped a junior in the program, Gabriella Guerra, get a real idea of the rigors of the field she plans to enter someday.

“Honestly I found it very enlightening; a real glimpse into what it is like to be in a demanding career like that,” Guerra said of Mueller’s talk.

Mueller’s focus on integrity specifically stuck out to Guerra because that’s one of the reasons she chose to attend Anderson University.

“I knew that I would get not only a solid education with all the practical skills and knowledge, but also coming from that ethical background,” she said. “They offer solid advice and different ethical lessons as far as what people who are going into the careers are.”

David Layman, a sophomore criminal justice and national security major, said Mueller’s talk reaffirmed for him the impact the national intelligence community has on the world.

“Basically the opportunities we have here to gain a broader understanding and perspective of the career field is awesome,” he added.

©2017 The Herald Bulletin (Anderson, Ind.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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